Best way to get my stuff from Mpls to Chicago?
August 5, 2008 8:11 AM   Subscribe

I'll be moving to Chicago from Minneapolis at the end of the month, and I'm trying to figure out the best (read: easiest/cheapest) way to get 3 people's bedroom furniture plus a living room out there. There's a lot of good advice on askme already, but I thought with ever-increasing gas prices I'd see if new alternatives have popped up.

Initially I was going to rent a Uhaul, but after reading up on it it seems like that's asking for trouble. Now I'm looking at renting a 16' truck from Budget or Penske, but I wonder:

Will it hold our stuff?
It's listed as being able to transport 2-3 rooms, I'd guess our inventory will be about the following:
4 mattresses and box springs, 3-4 bookshelves, 2 dressers, tv and stand, couch, recliner, desk, misc. furniture plus some boxes.

Is there a better alternative?
With the addition of gas costs, this is going to end up being around $700. I'm fine with that if that's the best I can get, but the miser in me wonders if there's a better way. I've heard about ABF U-Pack, but I'm not quite clear on how much space I would end up renting given what we're moving. Anyone with experience doing this sort of 400-mile move have any recommendations on how to do it best?
posted by ictow to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you investigated PODS? Friends of mine recently used this, and they had a quite large pod that seemed to hold a lot and rivaled the size of a large U-Haul.
posted by kuppajava at 9:12 AM on August 5, 2008

Best answer: You should fit that stuff into a 16' cube easy depending on the number of boxes and the size of stuff like TVs and dressers.

The mattresses are a significant portion of the bulk of your load. You might get away with a smaller truck (Penske rents a 12' cube) if you were to trailer your mattresses. North Tool has outlets in Minneapolis and they sell a 4X8 folding trailer for $240 plus tires. A sheet of plywood and you've got a decent little unit. Assuming average double beds that'd be around (4.5X5.5x1.5)x4= 150 cu.ft plus frames and head/foot boards you could take out of the truck. And you might be able to put some or all of your bookshelves on the trailer too.

The advantage of buying the trailer over renting a larger truck is you can recover probably 1/2 your costs buy selling it at the other end (or you could keep it and have a handy little trailer if you are moving into a house) and you'll get a cheaper to rent, lower truck with a smaller engine saving some gas and rental fees and taxes. You'll have to check though as not all rental companies let you tow a personal trailer.

Regardless of whether you put your mattresses in a truck or on a trailer you will want to bag them, the interior of a cube van will get everything covered with road dust. You'll want to tarp the load on the trailer though to shed rain.

PS: A conventional TV is a pain to pack if you don't have the original box. I've always seat belted them into one of the passenger seats of my car with the screen facing the seat when I've had to move them. Works great as long as the TV fits and you have a shoulder belt at that location. The belt perfectly wraps around the irregularity of the rear of the set and the seat protects the tube from damage.
posted by Mitheral at 9:13 AM on August 5, 2008

Northern Tool trailer.
posted by Mitheral at 9:14 AM on August 5, 2008

I have little to offer but this...

Of all the one way moves I have done with a rental truck, only Penske stands out as a non-horrifying experience.
posted by ian1977 at 9:21 AM on August 5, 2008

Put an ad in Craig's List or sell everything and use the $ to buy. I think it would be cheapter than lugging it.
posted by dasheekeejones at 10:43 AM on August 5, 2008

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